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State Sees Decline In Rate Of Preterm Births
Updated November 10, 2015 7:17 AM | Filed under: Health
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - State health officials say Indiana's efforts to reduce preterm births are resulting in a decrease in the number of babies born before 37 weeks gestation.

From 2009 to 2013, the last year for which data are complete, the number of preterm births dropped from 10.1 percent to 9.6 percent statewide. The percentage of black infants born before 37 weeks had the highest decline, dropping from 14.1 percent to 13.2 percent.

"Preterm births are a top factor in the number of children who die before their first birthdays, so we are glad that more mothers are delivering full-term babies," said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. "But we need to continue working to improve these numbers to ensure that every child has the best chance possible at leading a long, healthy life."

Reducing infant mortality is the top priority for the Indiana State Department of Health, which will host its third annual Labor of Love infant mortality session on November 6, 2015, at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. Speakers at the event will address the health disparities that can contribute to preterm births, including access to prenatal care.

"By focusing attention on health disparities and preterm births at events like the Labor of Love Summit, we are taking steps to improve the health of pregnant women and their babies and reduce the number of children who never live past their first birthdays," Dr. Adams said.

For more information about the 2015 Labor of Love Summit, visit To learn more about the Indiana State Department of Health, visit or follow the agency on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at

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